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The disaster at Baikonur

Author(s): Oleksandr Boltenko

Journal: Research in the History of Technology
ISSN 2079-2999

Issue: 16;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: USSR | USA | M.I. Nedelin | M.K. Yangel' | Baikonur | R-16 missile | catastrophe | programmed distributor | Dnepropetrovsk | museum of cosmonautics

The article is devoted to a complicated international situation end 50th - beginning 60-s, when the territory of the Soviet Union was surrounded by military bases being and was under a permanent nuclear threat from the side of the USA. Therefore the necessity of strengthening the USSR defense capabilities required creation of intercontinental missiles of new generation, capable to reach the territory of the USA. The USSR utterly needed a reliable nuclear shield with the key role given to R-16 missile. The preparation for the start of the first intercontinental ballistic missile on high-boiling (toxic) fuel components and flight range up to 13000 km is shown. The reasons of explosion of the missile caused by crude violations of safety measures, numerous defects of cable network and the flight control systems and panel of membrane blasting and other equipment. The main reason of the rocket explosion. The catastrophe itself on Baikonur of Octobers, 24, 1960, that took lives of 74 testers of rocketry. The real reason of death of the first Chief Commander of Missile Forces, Chief Marshal of Artillery M.I. Nedelin. The article provides the information that has never been revealed before, namely, on close relatives if the about near of the fallen testers of the rocketry who reside in Ukraine.
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